The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has issued notices to the Tripura units of the Congress party and the BJP for seeking votes via Twitter after the imposition of Model Code of Conduct.
A notice was sent to BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia as well for appealing for votes in their party’s favour when polling was underway.
The Election Commission said that the tweets are violative of election law as they were made in the 48 hour "silence period" which began on Tuesday evening.
They have been given an opportunity "to take corrective action at the earliest". They have also been asked to explain their stands for the violation by 5 pm on Friday.
In its notice to Saikia, the Tripura CEO said, " ... an appeal for vote in favour of BJP has been tweeted from your handle at 0950 hours on 16.02.2023. The tweet is in form of a photo containing following message: Unnato Tripura Sreshtho Tripura Vote for BJP."
It said the tweet violates section 126 (l)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which prohibits display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus in polling area during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in that polling area.
Another notice to the Tripura BJP said an appeal for vote in favour of BJP was tweeted from BJP handle at 8 am on Thursday. "The tweet followed by a video clip is as under: For a safe and brighter future, vote for BJP", it said.
The notice to the Tripura Congress noted that an appeal for votes in favour of INC (Indian National Congress) was tweeted from Tripura Congress' handle at 11.42 am on Thursday. "The tweet is as under: People of Tripura spontaneously casting vote for Congress. This time Congress will come," the notice said.
Tripura is the first of three northeastern states that head to assembly elections this year. Meghalaya and Nagaland will be voting later this month.
The tussle for the hotseat is going to be interesting in Tripura with regional party TIPRA Motha, led by royal scion Pradyot Debbarma gaining confidence as well as people's trust with their demand for Greater Tipraland.
The Congress and CPI-M will look to dent the vote shares while harbouring hopes of causing an upset. However, it is the ruling BJP that looks all set to come to power again, exuding confidence during the campaigning.
The voting started at 7 am amid tight security. A total of 259 candidates, including 20 women, are in the fray in Tripura. The counting of votes will be done on March 2.